Kailee Reed is a current Ph.D. student in the Cell and Molecular Biology program working in Dr. Tai Mongomery’s lab. Her research interests include regulatory genetic pathways and roles for piRNAs and WAGO-class siRNAs in shaping the germline transcriptome in C. elegans. As a qCMB fellow, Kailee is both adept at computational biology and highly active in CMB and qCMB extracurricular activities.
Tell a bit about your life before you joined CSU.
My life has revolved around CSU for about the last 8 years (undergraduate and MS completed here); however, before CSU I was very involved in showing my horses, playing sports and hanging with my family. Since then, my life has been studies and science!
Tell us about your research project and what attracted you to your area of interest.
My research is mainly about exploring the mechanisms of gene regulation. Specifically, our lab is interested in RNA interference and related pathways that engage small RNAs that control the expression of our genes for proper development and other internal/external cues. In my Masters program, I feel in love with learning about small RNA biology, so I pursued my PhD in Tai Montgomery’s Lab to really dive into it!
What do you do to relax when you’re not in the lab?
When I am not in the lab (to be very honest), I try to relax as much as I can! But I also love to ride my horses and to hang out with my dog, cat, friends and boyfriend J Breweries are also amazing for ‘graduate school relaxation’!
What is your favorite thing about the CMB program/CSU/Fort Collins?
The main thing that I love about the CMB program is that every faculty member and every student is super supportive – someone will always be there are mentoring/advice whenever you need! In terms of the town, craft beer/breweries are life, so that is great – plus such great food everywhere!
What has surprised you about graduate school?
There are A LOT of things that people do not tell you about graduate school that you kind of just have to figure out as you go along. The entire process is far from linear, so expect to take hundreds of turns along the way J
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
My biggest challenge thus far was moving from a lab that was slower paced to a model organism lab that is far from that! It has been a great journey so far.
What do you plan to do after you graduate?
I am trying to keep my options as open as possible. I think I would like to go into an industry setting as a data scientist or anything to do with the biotechnology field. For now, I am trying to get as much experience as possible related to academic and industry research to really find where I belong after the program!